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Exide Battery Plant Cleanup Costs Pushing $400M

Another $2 million has been designated to clean up contaminated soil around the now-closed Exide Technologies battery recycling facility in Southern California.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved the $2 million funding request and blasted the state, which it says “continues to drag its feet” in regards to the environment, health and safety concerns related to the hazardous waste around the Vernon, California site.

In March Exide agreed to permanently close the battery recycling facility and pay $50 million to cleanup the site and surrounding neighborhoods, which have been polluted by environmental toxins for almost a century, following an agreement reached with the US Department of Justice.

The company admitted the plant produced a host of hazardous wastes, including lead, cadmium, arsenic and volatile organic compounds. Exide also acknowledged criminal conduct, including the illegal storage, illegal disposal, illegal shipment and illegal transportation of hazardous waste.

The Daily Breeze newspaper, quoting LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis, says up to 1,000 homes near the plant may qualify as hazardous waste, and some 5,000 to 10,000 homes may require some cleanup. The total cleanup cost could be more than $400 million, Solis says.

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